3 Wine Flaws You Should Be Aware Of

3 Wine Flaws You Should Be Aware Of

3 Wine Flaws You Should Be Aware Of.

First and foremost, before you crack open that bottle of wine and begin pouring, reconsider your decision.

Much consideration goes into crafting that glass of wine you’re about to drink before the bottle of wine you buy ever touches the shelves of a retail shop or is included on a restaurant’s wine list.

Like everything else in this world, wine may be exposed to a number of situations that have a significant impact on its flavor; some are minor and subjective, while others can be downright revolting.

Nonetheless, it is important to grasp these flaws in order to determine if anything you may not like about a new wine is a true trait of the wine or something that may have occurred between the vineyard and your glass. In order to better understand wine flaws, let’s look at some of the more prevalent ones.

Affect of Cork

This is undoubtedly one of the most prevalent difficulties in wine today, affecting around 2% of all cork-finished bottles, and it is something to which wine (and cork) makers devote a significant lot of thought and resources.

The term “corked” does not necessarily relate to little pieces of cork that have split from the main cork and are now floating about in the wine, as some people believe (personal experience, that I know many of my industry associates have heard a time or two).

It is instead due to the presence of the chemical molecule 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole (TCA), which causes the tainting of cork.

Though a corked wine might occur as a consequence of a contaminated barrel, cellaring chamber, or other location in the winery, the cork closure is the most common source of corked wine incidents.

Unfortunately, it is very uncommon for a whole batch of corks to be destroyed rather than just a single cork to do the damage.

However, although some companies spend a lot of money on their corks in an attempt to prevent this issue, it has resulted in the development of different closures that you can get today, with screw caps being one of the more common alternatives to natural or synthetic corks.

As a result, what should you keep an eye out for?

Despite the fact that cork taint may manifest itself in a variety of ways, the most common symptom is the smell of a musty basement, a damp paper bag, or moldy cardboard, which all have an impact on the wine’s typical fruit taste.

However, it has been my experience that in some circumstances, minor cork taint “blow off” over time if the wine is left to air or is decanted, but in other cases, the stench is so offensive that the wine is thrown out immediately, as the smell is something you just can’t get beyond.

However, I’ve heard that swirling a wine with a wooden spoon covered in plastic wrap helps alleviate this issue.

I’ll try it out. For the majority, though, it is just not worth it, and it is preferable to simply return the bottle and try another.

Wine collectors, on the other hand, may find this to be a significant disappointment when opening a bottle of wine that has been cellared for a long period of time.

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  1. Wine Flaws Caused by Oxidation and Maderization
    Despite the fact that the features of these defects are distinct, I’m grouping them together since the underlying cause is almost always poor storage. Wines that have been oxidized, which is merely the result of the wine being exposed to too much oxygen, often lose their color and taste. Often, a wine being served on a ‘by the glass’ program has remained open for an extended period of time, which leads to this situation in restaurants.

Despite the fact that many different techniques of wine preservation and systems are now available to avoid this issue, it was formerly the case.

Even though cooling wines slows the oxidation process, once they are opened, wines still have a shelf life of many months. As a consequence, even at home, leaving a bottle of wine open for an extended period of time will result in the same degeneration of any wine, whether red or white.

Oxidation may also occur as a consequence of a defective closure or improper handling of the wine at any point throughout the production process.

It’s possible for the cork to dry out in older wines if they’re not maintained correctly (which is why it’s suggested to store them on their sides, which keeps the cork wet), enabling too much air to leak into the bottle and give a red wine a brick-ish hue, or an orange tint in a glass of white wine.

Oxidation may also occur when a wine is exposed to an excessive amount of sunshine or heat. This also has the additional effect of causing maderization and other issues.

A bottle exposed to heat will expand as the wine inside it grows, which will eventually force the cork out of the bottle’s neck and out of the bottle’s neck. Not only may air seep in, but it also has the potential to cause the wine to flow out.

And, although this may also cause oxidation in wine, excessive heat will just cook the wine.

When maderized, different wines exhibit a variety of qualities, but in general, they may be too jammy or just taste like cooked fruit, and they can take on nutty flavors that are not typical of that specific wine’s style.

The appropriate storage of wine is thus essential in order to prevent these two errors. Next time you see that orange Pinot Grigio on sale at a ridiculously low price at a retail shop, you’ll know exactly why.

  1. The Aromas and Taste of Vegetables
    Many wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and other Bordeaux-related grapes, are often characterized as having a faint flavor of this vegetable or that, but in fact there is a chemical in the grapes that, when consumed in large quantities, may be quite revolting to certain individuals. Methoxypyrazine, sometimes known as “pyrazines” for short, is the chemical compound in question. Even though many of the world’s best Sauvignon Blancs are typically classified as herbaceous in nature, it is when the pyrazines become more dominant and the wine exhibits more notes of bell pepper or asparagus that it becomes irritating to certain customers.

Many people feel that effective vine canopy management may prevent the production of pyrazines and the development of stronger vegetal tones; nonetheless, chilly and damp temperatures also play a significant role in this trait.

In certain New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, South American red wines (Carmenere in particular), and inexpensive Cabernet Francs from the Loire Valley in France, I’ve seen this characteristic often. There are certain winemakers who will take great pride in this attribute, but in excess, it is not a desirable characteristic in a glass of wine.

Nothing ruins a wine tasting more than drinking a Syrah that tastes like jalapeño peppers and is incredibly vegetal, leaving you unable to taste anything else thereafter.

So many people consider this to be a flaw in wine, despite the fact that it is typically avoided if grape plants are properly cared for or cultivated in more favorable climes.

There are a variety of other wine faults or flaws that many people consider to be more subjective (the terms “barnyard” and “cat pee” come to mind), but it’s always important to remember that, even though wine is fermented and bottled before making its way to you, wine is still alive on the chemistry side of what’s going on in the bottle and requires proper care.

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